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Hello. I am new to this community, but I wanted to speak to people in the same position as me. None of my close friends have moderate acne like me :( so I feel all alone. My first breakout was when I turned thirteen years old, and it hasn't stopped since then (I am now 22 years old). Back in grade 11 I started using Benzaclin and Differin prescribed by my dermatologist and my pimples decreased drastically. However, I still get frequent breakouts, especially around my period, not to mention all the scarring and red/pink pigmentation on my cheeks and chin. I now use Dapsone gel, but no positive results as of yet. 

Acne, on its own, is not the worst part. It's just your appearance- it is the least important thing about a person. Yet I am so embarrassed by it, it overwhelms me. Every time I look in the mirror I overanalyze every scar and pimple. I don't go outdoors without makeup on. 99% of people I talk to say they don't notice or care about my acne, and that I am beautiful (apart from the annoying Sephora ladies who always try to give me some lame skin treatment samples). There is only ONE acquaintance who told me I am ugly and I need to see a dermatologist. For some reason this one negative statement affected me so much that since that time two years ago I have been even more critical of my acne than before. It's like his comment proved that other people can see my acne, and they are judging me. 

I know this is shallow and on the whole unimportant, but I feel that I will NEVER feel beautiful and confident until my acne goes away, which is a problem because it means all my self-esteem rests on whether I have dots on my face or not. I feel like people are always staring, and I am scared, terrified, DREADING that they will give me "tips" like: don't eat oily food OR wash your face more. I'm doing everything I can!!! 

How do I once and for all get over my irrational insecurity? How do I live with my self, knowing my face will be scarred my whole life, and will never be "perfect"?  Does anyone else feel this way?

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The best way not to worry so much about your skin is to Keep your mind off your skin if you can. Something that might help is staying out the mirror and a good diet the suits you and just let your body and skin heal over time without doing anything extra. Good luck  

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Hi there. Cheer up :)! Im somewhat on the same boat.. my adult acne and scarring are horrible (considering i havent had these in the past). I became so selfconscious and less confident because of my skin. But as days pass by, i somewhat got used to it, i also had a new found compassion to people with acne. I just keep telling myself to persist on my treatment differin and bp, and accept the fact that acne treatment takes years to heal scars and preexisting acne. There is no quick fix. People can be judgemental but actually take this opportunity to get to know people who will find you beautiful despite acne, these people are the real gems! It also helps reading stories of people on this site, youtube, and blogging. Voicing your emotions can actually help you and acne fighters around you, youre not alone in this fight! Smile! :) 

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Same here. I'm 25 and still get some breakouts (not as bad as before, but still.) I get really bad ones like once a month and feel like a monster, but to people who really care/love me, it doesn't matter, so I've come to learn that I don't have to care about what others think. (Sephora/skin care ladies can be really bitc*y!) Cheers |::)

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I have been living my life.  It's primarily due to getting older and not caring as much about what anyone thinks.  But I'm still on the self-conscious side.  It's hard to help.  I do have some mild scarring dating back I don't know how long, I've lost track over the years.  I'm just continuing to try to prevent new scarring at my age.  It has become harder and harder for my skin to bounce back like it did when I was a young adult.

I have to admit I have never been able to accept the fact that my skin will never be perfect.  I wish I could, but I can't.  I'm also an anxious person so it has made it all the harder on me.

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On 21 October 2016 at 7:58 PM, cookiemonster555 said:

How do I once and for all get over my irrational insecurity? How do I live with my self, knowing my face will be scarred my whole life, and will never be "perfect"?  Does anyone else feel this way?

 
Yeah I can relate to this. Not sure if I ever wanted to look perfect, but I definitely wanted to look normal. Honestly, I could never be happy with acne, and I will always be grateful that I didn’t have to put up with it any longer than I did.
 
I think some people just have a perfectionist personality. Its the only reason that I can think of as to why some people seem to be really floored by acne, whereas other people don’t seem to be effected by it all.
 
I didn’t have any confidence whatsoever until my acne disappeared when I was in my early twenties. Even then had to start from scratch, which was daunting in itself. 
 
I don’t think you can consciously stop worrying about things. If it bothers you, it bothers you. You can’t control how you feel, despite what some people wish to believe. 
 
Also, if you have close friends (something that I never had) I would suggest that it sounds like you are already “living" life.
 
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I have to agree with the above poster.  I can't just stop worrying about things, including having acne, and I do have a perfectionist personality.  Trying to change the way I think to change how I feel does not work for me.  I can't say I accept having acne, or maybe I accept it but still don't like it.  But I'll never embrace it.  It's a lot of work mentally and practically.  I did not grow out of it and my skin does not recover as quickly or as well as it used to.

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I also agree with jwalk. I've never felt good about myself when I have acne. I could try to deal with it and not think about it as best as I could, but that only lasts so long. You can't really just force yourself to not care about it, even though you wish you could. Once my skin cleared my confidence started to come back. Some people might disagree and say it's shallow, but I think that's just the reality of it. I think a major part of that is because acne is different than not liking something permanently about yourself ("I don't like my nose" or "I hate the way my eyes are shaped"). In the back of our minds we know that acne isn't "normal" or something that we should just accept forever. We know there is a cause. We know that it can be cured some way, some how, and that prevents us from being okay with it. 

I don't think your insecurity is irrational at all. In fact, I don't think a single person who has dealt with acne hasn't gone through the same phase of obsessing over their skin. As someone who has experienced acne as a young teen and then again as an adult, I can say with certainty that getting it as an adult was 10x harder for me to deal with. The best advice I can give you, without trying to be cliche,  is to not give up on finding a cure. You don't have to accept having acne because you WILL eventually find what works for you. If topical treatments don't work, try an antibiotic or oral medication. If that doesn't work try hormonal treatments like birth control, etc. Your skin WILL clear and the marks & scars will eventually fade until you don't even notice them anymore. 

In the mean time, something that seriously helped me cope was slowly starting to allow people to see me with no make-up. It was hard at first - it gave me anxiety and made me not want to make plans at all. But, once I was actually with them and got comfortable, I realized that it wasn't as big of a deal as I made it out to be. It was a HUGE weight off my shoulders. I'm not going to say that people won't notice that you have acne - they will notice. But, they don't see it like you do. They aren't over analyzing your skin the way your are. To them, they will likely just notice it and then forget about it. Some people can be jerks about it, and that tends to stand out to us the most. But you must realize that not everyone is like that. Most people aren't looking at you with judgement and disgust, though it might feel like that. Most of it is honestly in your head.

Another big thing that helped me was bringing up how I felt with people like my friends and family. It might feel awkward to do, but otherwise it's just going to be this giant elephant in the room to you and you won't be able to focus on anything else. I would hang out with people and they would ask me how I've been, and I would just say something along the lines of "Well to be honest, I've been dealing with some skin issues lately and it's been pretty annoying...". Bringing it up casually, seeing their honest reactions and talking to them about it not only makes you feel better, but it offers some perspective to them as to how much it means to you. 

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This is what I'm trying to do - just to live my life regardless. I'm accepting that I may never even have clear skin. And even if I did clear up completely, I have some scars and I don't feel comfortable with my face.

I've always felt ashamed and even apologetic when people are looking at my face. I'm also self-conscious about my features, though I wasn't when my skin was clear. I think acne has made me kinda dysmorphic.

I've decided enough is enough on that, like many of you here. Why should I apologise for my face? I didn't do anything wrong. It's a genetic accident. How much time, energy and opportunity have I wasted feeling small and worrying about my skin? Enough is enough.

I was inspired by this thread and the past few days, when someone's been talking to me, I've just decided to pretend that my face is not even just normal but beautiful. That I have the kind of face people want to look at. That's what I've longer for with my skin for so long, and I've decided to just act as if it's true.

I'll still keep trying to improve my skin, and I know there'll be harder days, but I hope this will help.

 

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@kelbell812
@Blue83

I really appreciate what you guys have written.  It's like you're thinking what I'm thinking.  Same with me, once I started to use dan's regimen (around 10 years ago) and my skin started to clear, that's when I gained confidence.  It just hasn't been perfect since then, due to stress, or being overworked or lack of sleep.  And it's true that I have had a difficult time accepting my acne.  Actually, I don't.  It annoys me that I have to deal with it well into adulthood, as though I'm taking it personally.  In my case, I have several siblings and all of their acne stopped at age 21.  Mine has continued for years and years.  I can't go one day without using bp & moisturizer.  I can't accept some of the scarring I have, albeit mild, and I still worry about getting more light scars.  

Kellbell812, I still prefer to cover up any acne or mild scarring.  I can't help it, I feel self-conscious about it.  I'm not as brave as you.  But good for you to be able to go without makeup.  I also lack your courage to really talk about it with family/friends.  They sometimes make remarks, like what's that on your face, or your face looks better, and it's really annoying!  But I agree that if I were the one to bring it up, they would then realize that it's an issue for me.

Love chatting here!
 
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@gentlesoul Don't worry, I definitely don't go make-up free all the time! I still wear it to work everyday and sometimes on the weekends just because it makes me feel more put together. I still have scarring too. But I am more relaxed about it now rather than feeling like I need to be wearing it constantly. Like, if I go grocery shopping, or grab breakfast with friends, or have a movie night with friends/family, etc. I won't wear it. Just taking small steps like that helped me feel more relaxed about it and less pressured to always be covered up.  But yeah, it can definitely be a little awkward to bring up. I think it depends on the person & situation. I would always try to look for opportunities to do so so that it would come off more casual rather than bringing it up in a sit down "let me talk about my feelings" sort of way. If that makes sense haha. 
 
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@kelbell812
I totally agree with your comment that we obsess over acne so much because we believe it can be cured and it's somehow our fault that this curse has been bestowed upon us. While I agree that "finding the right cure" is a good goal to have, I *still* met many people with worse acne than mine who have incredible, genuine self-confidence. While I am still finding a cure (and have been for 10 years), my point of the post was not "how to make acne go away quicker so I can be happy." It's more... "how to be happy TODAY, RIGHT NOW" because God knows how long I'll have these scars for. I guess talking about it really helps. I think it all goes down to the self-esteem- other people say I'm pretty, but I don't believe it. I guess it's time for us to just love ourselves, hm? :P

@Blue83 I totally agree with you: "Why should I apologise for my face?" I, too, am tired of giving excuses to friends, family and strangers shoving unnecessary tips and acne products in my face. My boyfriend says that he does not care about my acne at all. In fact, he barely notices it. I'll cry in front of the mirror and point out (what I think is) a GIGANTIC pimple on my face and he doesn't shrug. 

I think the self-consciousness is in our minds. What do YOU think when you see people with acne? I don't care- I see their facial features, their smile, their eyes, and most important their personality when we start talking. 

Most people don't actually care about OTHER peoples' acne, which is why I said it's an irrational worry. Rational worry is productive (e.g. stressing about an exam) but pointless worrying about aspects of yourself that you cannot easily change is a waste of time and energy.

Now it's time to follow my own advice :P

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